The Fight for Global Manufacturing Gets Personal

Sep 6, 2023 | Macro Insights, No Bull Economics

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Post-covid U.S. exports of goods & services have skyrocketed as American companies have worked hard to onshore their supply chains, providing them with products to sell overseas. Correspondingly, U.S. imports from China have fallen considerably since late 2022 after China’s extended covid lockdowns left their American customers without product to sell.  

Commentary

  • Commercial ties between the U.S. & China have been strained by China’s extended lockdowns, import tariffs, rising Chinese wages, and increasing political/military tensions between the countries.
  • Decreasing Chinese imports may also partially reflect that some Chinese manufacturers finish their product assembly in another country to avoid U.S. import tariffs.
  • In any case, the onshoring of American supply chains can only be good news for domestic economic activity and GDP growth. All the same, this trend could drive inflation as costs increase for American producers who can no longer outsource to low-cost manufacturing hubs like China of old.
  • Net/net, we believe it is better for American companies to onshore their supply chains – the potential for higher costs is more than offset by the promise of economic security & job growth.     
U.S. Imports vs Exports Graph

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